Our philodendron has been around a very long time. It’s a gorgeous evergreen, large and leafy, and it gives a tropical feel to our backyard, even in the dead of winter. This year’s dead of winter has been pretty insanely fantastic, I must admit. Even today, it is in the mid to high seventies and this warming trend is set to continue for the next seven days.
I was looking out the window this morning and into the backyard where the philodendron lives and thought back to last fall. I remember being very curious then about what was hiding beneath all of those leaves. The leaf stems of the philodendron are thick, like stalks, and take on quite a bit of weight as the shrub matures and grows. As a result, the leaves serve almost like an umbrella, blocking a lot of what is under them from seeing the light of day or, in my case, blocking me from seeing what could possibly be hidden inside.
Practically on my hands and knees, I either crawled or duckwalked under the leaves. The tangerine tree has thrived next to the philodendron all these years and I knew I also had to avoid another set of branches due to it being nearby. Toss into this mix the possibility of meeting snakes, spiders, and other critters living inside this world of green and one can understand my need to move slowly. But moving slowly gave me the opportunity to appreciate what I saw when I finally took my focus away from swatting at sticky spiderwebs and took a close-up look at the bottom of a philodendron.
That stem is seriously one of the craziest things I have ever seen nature produce, am I right?
The silly part about this is that when the philodendron is ready to reproduce, it will develop something called a spadix (which conjures up many other phallic images – seriously, Google it). But whenever I look at this beautiful stem, all I see are gorgeously inquisitive eyes decorated with luxuriously long eyelashes. This plant is completely capable of self-producing, but I can’t help but think of her as exactly that, a her.